MANILA - The Philippines is on track to meet its 6 to 7 percent growth target this year, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Thursday, after the gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 6.4 percent in the first quarter despite higher inflation
The first quarter GDP growth, however, is the slowest expansion following 7 quarters of growth of above 7 percent, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed.
“The sustained trajectory of the country’s output is a welcome development as we navigate through an uncertain global outlook,” Diokno said in a statement.
The country's Q1 growth is faster than China's 4.5 percent, Indonesia's 5 percent, Singapore's 0.1 percent and Vietnam's 3.3 percent, Diokno said.
Domestic demand for the period expanded, led by household consumption, investments and government spending, he said.
“As we continue to rely on domestic demand to propel the economy towards the growth target, the government remains unwavering in protecting the purchasing power of Filipino consumers by acting swiftly to implement direct measures against inflation,” Diokno said.
He said the government would continue to implement programs under its Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF).
The MTFF also aims to bring down the country's debt-to-GDP ration to below 60 percent by 2025, and further down to 51.1 percent in 2028, as well as to reduce the budget deficit to 3 percent of GDP by 2028, the Department of Finance said.
As of the first quarter of 2023, the country's debt-to-GDP ratio was at 61 percent, down from 63.5 percent in the first quarter of 2022. The global standard is 60 percent.
Meanwhile, National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the Philippine economy must grow by 5.9 percent to 7.2 percent in the next 3 quarters to meet the government target of 6 to 7 percent.